So, it wasn’t to be. There was no repeat World Series for the Dodgers. But there has not been a back-to-back champion since the New York Yankees in 1999 and 2000 – so that is not a huge disappointment.
A lot of money was spent two years ago as the Dodgers went all in on winning the flag. That was achieved in 2020 when Mookie Betts hit a double, a home run and scored twice to win the World Series for Los Angeles after 32 years of disappointment.
This season ended in the NLCS as eventual champs Atlanta won in six. Now the team must look ahead to the next and attempt to win back the crown. The sportsbooks already have the Dodgers as favorites to do just that. But how are things looking as we go into the offseason?
What happened this year?
The immense amount of talent on the roster essentially hid any weaknesses until they were cruelly exposed in the postseason. The less said about losing Trevor Bauer to suspension the better, but injuries did play a big part in the way the season ended.
Losing Max Muncy on the final day of the regular season was a blow. But then there were a string of departures during the series with the Braves that didn’t help with the aim of making the World Series. For the first time in nine years the Dodgers failed to win the National League West – but they still won 106 games in the regular season. They just couldn’t do quite enough to limp over the line at the end.
What do the Bookmakers Think?
Unsurprisingly, the Dodgers are the favorites with the sportsbooks to come back and win next season. A price of around +500 is available, with the Astros, Braves and Yankees making up a familiar looking list of top teams.
The good news is that the experts think that we can go all the way once again next year. The bad news is that before opening day last year the Dodgers were only +350 to repeat. Atlanta and Houston were both offered at much longer odds and they made it to the World Series this year.
Why the Dodgers Might Not Win Next Year
OK, let’s get the pessimistic side out of the way first. As we mentioned earlier, the organization spent big on becoming the dominant team in baseball. It worked last year but maybe we are now witnessing the turning of the tide for the Dodgers.
The offseason could be crucial, with Max Scherzer, Corey Seager, Kenley Jensen and Clayton Kershaw all becoming free agents. Success could come down to at least three of those players being retained. If more than two go there could be trouble. Deficiencies were masked by overachieving last season – and there is no guarantee that that will happen again.
Why the Dodgers Can Win in 2022
Before we get all down about the team’s chances, let’s look at the positives. Retaining those players eligible for free agency would be a start. The organization still has plenty of money, thanks in part to how fans watch games these days. Streaming means that there is more choice – and more people choose to watch LA.
Even though there has been a leveling up in baseball, the Dodgers still sit at the top table when it comes to players on the field and the brains behind them. Another 100+ win regular season should be achievable – and that could mean a divisional title and a kinder NLDS. From there, who knows?
After nine years of successive postseasons – including three World Series appearances and a championship in 2020 – it would be a huge surprise if the Dodgers didn’t at least make it into the top five in the National League in 2022. The Braves and the Brewers would seem to be the teams standing in the way of a NLCS triumph.
From there it depends on whether the Yankees can improve again – or the Astros can break the recent National League stranglehold. One thing is for sure, the Dodgers will have something to say about who wins the flag.